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Herping Tips in Little Desert NP?

BandyBandy91

New Member
Hi all, as you can probably tell from this post, I am an amateur herper. I have spent today Herping in the Little Desert National Park in Victoria, where I only found a Boulenger’s Skink and a couple baby Nobbi Dragons. I am staying overnight, and would love to see Geckoes including Legless Lizards, Goannas and Painted Dragons. I know that I must go Herping at night for the best chances of finding geckoes, but does anyone have any tips on finding my key species? Thanks.
 

Sdaji

Almost Legendary
APS Veteran
Trusted Seller
Did you see a big orange snake the day after you posted this?
 

Bluetongue1

Well-Known Member
APS Veteran
Hey, am really glad you got to see one of your target species. Unfortunately I saw your post too late to respond then.

It seems to me that your first day was spent in lightly timbered (open woodland) habitat with plenty of fallen timber on the ground. Did you encounter the sand goanna in similar or more somewhat more open surrounding? Please let me know. If this is correct we can maybe continue the conversation from there.s
 

BandyBandy91

New Member
Hey, am really glad you got to see one of your target species. Unfortunately I saw your post too late to respond then.

It seems to me that your first day was spent in lightly timbered (open woodland) habitat with plenty of fallen timber on the ground. Did you encounter the sand goanna in similar or more somewhat more open surrounding? Please let me know. If this is correct we can maybe continue the conversation from there.s
Hi, thanks for your response. I saw the Sand Goanna on the side of a paved road, which gave way to dense bushes.
 

Bluetongue1

Well-Known Member
APS Veteran
The purpose to my questions was to try to illustrate a point. I would warrant that the habitat in which you found the nobbi dragons was similar to what I described. V. gouldii is not as habitat specific, so I am not surprised that I was not correct on that one. Still, worth a punt…


If you have target species that you hope to see when travelling, the thing to do is research their preferred habitat and behaviour prior to looking for them. For example, painted dragons prefer hummock grassland habitat, so sandy to stony swales on and between low sand hills with spinifex grass are the ideal place to look for them. They are active throughout the day in warm weather and morning and afternoon in hot weather. Also, they are quick to scamper back to their burrows when disturbed. These burrows are often at the base of a hummock grass, tend to be fairly shallow and not too long.


Pygopod habitat varies with the species. Burton’s can be found in a huge range of habitats, other than wet areas. Others occupy sclerophyll forest to heaths where there is plenty of leaf litter to forage in and hide in. Yet others are prefer grassland habitat and can be found beneath the matted layers of dead grass that develop there.


Locating geckoes in semi-arid to arid areas is best done at night with a head torch. Personally I have a cheap Arlec brand from Bunnings that cost about $10 and runs on 3 x AAA batteries. The trick is to use good quality batteries, such as Energiser Lithium or Duracell. An hour to two after sunset is your best time to go wandering through the sand hills looking for them, or checking out rock outcrops or tree trunks, depending where you are.


Another more general method of locating reptiles is to cruise roads for an hour or two after sunset. Success at this depends on lots of factors, including a measure of luck. However you can increase your chances by selecting roads that traverse good reptile habitat.
 

BandyBandy91

New Member
The purpose to my questions was to try to illustrate a point. I would warrant that the habitat in which you found the nobbi dragons was similar to what I described. V. gouldii is not as habitat specific, so I am not surprised that I was not correct on that one. Still, worth a punt…


If you have target species that you hope to see when travelling, the thing to do is research their preferred habitat and behaviour prior to looking for them. For example, painted dragons prefer hummock grassland habitat, so sandy to stony swales on and between low sand hills with spinifex grass are the ideal place to look for them. They are active throughout the day in warm weather and morning and afternoon in hot weather. Also, they are quick to scamper back to their burrows when disturbed. These burrows are often at the base of a hummock grass, tend to be fairly shallow and not too long.


Pygopod habitat varies with the species. Burton’s can be found in a huge range of habitats, other than wet areas. Others occupy sclerophyll forest to heaths where there is plenty of leaf litter to forage in and hide in. Yet others are prefer grassland habitat and can be found beneath the matted layers of dead grass that develop there.


Locating geckoes in semi-arid to arid areas is best done at night with a head torch. Personally I have a cheap Arlec brand from Bunnings that cost about $10 and runs on 3 x AAA batteries. The trick is to use good quality batteries, such as Energiser Lithium or Duracell. An hour to two after sunset is your best time to go wandering through the sand hills looking for them, or checking out rock outcrops or tree trunks, depending where you are.


Another more general method of locating reptiles is to cruise roads for an hour or two after sunset. Success at this depends on lots of factors, including a measure of luck. However you can increase your chances by selecting roads that traverse good reptile habitat.
Thank you heaps for your help. I will make sure to utilise the information you’ve provided in my next Herping expedition. I did go looking for Geckos with a head torch, but unfortunately all I found were spiders. Some days are better than others.
 
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